Mansfield: Fire hero Brent ‘acted on instinct’

Brent Ramsell with his chief constable's commendation.
Brent Ramsell with his chief constable's commendation.

A Mansfield man who risked his own life to save others when a flat was engulfed by fire has been recognised for his bravery.

Brent Ramsell received a chief constable’s commendation from Nottinghamshire Police as one of 80 civilians and officers to be presented with awards at a Nottingham ceremony.

The 28-year-old security guard was driving home with a friend at around 4.30am one morning last April when he spotted smoke billowing from premises on Bilborough Road in the Newgate area of Mansfield.

He asked his friend to call the emergency services while he sprang into action, kicking down doors and alerting sleeping residents as thick black smoke filled the building.

As a result of his actions, no-one was seriously hurt.

“I don’t know if you would call it brave or stupid, but it was something I did on instinct and it was a case of being in the right place at the right time,” said Brent.

“It was all a bit of a blur as the adrenalin kicked in. I started at the bottom and worked my way up the building.

“I had to kick doors in and I never knew I would have the strength. I’m not particularly fit either, despite being 10-and-a-half stone, and I don’t run, but you find energy from somewhere.

“I couldn’t get to the person who’s room was on fire and I heard a massive explosion as the windows shot out.

“I could hardly see, no further than my arm, and had to cover up my nose with a coat because of the smoke, but I managed to wake up the man inside and he jumped from a window to safety.

“I also got the person out across the hall and they say I possibly saved a life because it might have been too late by the time the fire engines arrived.

“The investigator said it was the worst damage she had seen in 12 years of doing her job.”

Brent accepted his commendation from chief constable Chris Eyre and insisted he did what anyone else would have done.

He added: “I would hope someone would do the same for me in that situation and I think it has something to do with your morals and the way you are brought up.

“It was only after the event that I thought was it the wisest thing to do as I have a three-year-old daughter.

“The awards night was fantastic and it was great to hear so many stories from people of all walks of life, as well as be appreciated for what I did.”

Mr Eyre said: “The event was a showcase of the extraordinary people that live in our community.

“It was a fitting tribute to their dedication and courage shown in exceptional circumstances and it was a real privilege to present them with their commendations and awards.”